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How do I embed a reading list (or section) in Moodle?

What tool should I use?

We recommend that you create all reading lists using the Aspire online reading list tool. This has lots of benefits over uploading a reading list document or linking to individual items from Moodle:

  • It can save you a lot of time and effort!
  • Lists are dynamic and up-to-date – as soon as you make a change, it will be reflected in all routes that students might use to access reading lists (e.g. via Moodle, the Library homepage etc.)
  • Your Academic Liaison Librarian will be aware of items on reading lists, will be notified of published changes and can plan accordingly.

You can get help with creating and updating Aspire lists by contacting your Academic Liaison Librarian (ALL), or by using our PDF guides or this short slideshow introduction.

Once you have a finished list, you can link it to your module, and this will enable it to appear on Moodle.

Adding the reading list to a Moodle block

If you think your reading list should be linked to the Moodle page, but it is not appearing:

  1. From the top right of your course turn editing on.
  2. In the bottom left hand corner of the sidebar, click Add a block.
  3. Choose Talis Aspire Resource Lists.
  4. A new Reading Lists ‘block’ should now have appeared on the right, with a link directly to the relevant list on Aspire. We recommend locating these towards the top of the right hand set of blocks on the page, for consistency across modules.

Embedding the reading list in Moodle

You can go one step further with this if you choose, and embed particular sections of the reading list into particular Weeks or sections of your course page on Moodle.

  1. First make sure your reading list is organised into sections. For example, if you want a set of readings for Week 1, create a section in Aspire called Week 1 and drag the readings into there.
  2. On Moodle, go to the section you want to add readings to (e.g. Week 1) and click Add an activity or resource.
  3. Select Course resource list (the Talis logo).
  4. Click Select content and choose the content you want to link to. It’s important to do this before you give the activity a name, because selecting the content will erase the name.
Screenshot of Moodle activity 'Course resource list', with a cursor over 'Select content' button
Adding a new Course Resource List activity

5. The next screen will give you the option to embed a section of a reading list or a whole list.

The screen to embed a list or section, with the two options 'Select section' and 'Embed list' highlighted
Options to embed a section or whole list

6. Once you have selected the right section, or the whole list, you will have the option to name the activity (e.g. Week 4 readings).

7. Click Save and return to course or Save and display.

When students click on the link in Moodle, they will be taken to a page with the reading list or section of the list that you have selected. Please note that the ‘Back’ button in their browser will not work from this page – they will need to navigate back to your course in another way.

Updated on October 18, 2022

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